Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by Satyender Jain (petitioner) and co-accused Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain (co-petitioners) seeking bail for an offence punishable under Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), Dinesh Kumar Sharma, J., held that petitioners have failed to meet the twin conditions as provided under Section 45 PMLA as well as the conditions as laid down under Section 439 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and are thus not entitled to bail.

CBI registered an FIR dated 24-08-2017 under Sections 13(2) r/w 13(1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act) and under Section 109 Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against Satyendar Kumar Jain, Poonam Jain w/o Satyendar Kumar Jain, Ajit Prasad Jain, Sunil Kumar Jain, Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain. It was alleged that the accused Satyendar Kumar Jain was found to be in possession of assets to the tune of Rs. 1,47,60,497.67/- disproportionate to his known source of income, which he could not explain satisfactorily.

The Court noted that it is not disputed that Rs. 4.81 Crores was received in the four companies Akinchan Developers Pvt. Ltd., Prayas Infosolution Pvt. Ltd., Mangalayatan Projects Pvt. Ltd., and J.J. Ideal Estate Pvt. Ltd. as well as that the transactions have been carried out through Kolkata based entry operators. The Income Tax authorities in IDS proceedings have attributed this money to Satyendar Kumar Jain and this finding has been upheld by Supreme Court.

The Court observed that it has examined the entire facts objectively in accordance with the law without being influenced by the position of the petitioner, other accused persons as well qua the witnesses but the fact remains the same that the condition under Section 439 CrPC are in addition to the twin conditions under Section 45 of PMLA. Thus, considering the totality of the facts, the petitioners at this stage cannot be held to have cleared the twin conditions of PMLA or the triple test.

The Court concluded that the broad probabilities indicate that Akinchan Developer Pvt. Ltd., Mangalayatan Projects Pvt. Ltd., and Prayas Infosolution Pvt. Ltd. are controlled and managed by Satyendar Kumar Jain. The constantly changing pattern of the shareholding in the companies clearly indicates that Satyendar Kumar Jain was indirectly controlling the affairs of the companies. The evidence on record speaks volumes but has not been discussed or examined in detail to not cause prejudice to the petitioner.

Thus, the Court held that the petitioners have failed to meet the twin conditions as provided under Section 45 PMLA as well as the conditions as laid down under Section 439 CrPC and are thus not entitled for bail.

[Satyender Kumar Jain v Enforcement Directorate, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1953, decided on 06-04-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. N. Hariharan, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Vivek Jain, Mr.Vaibhav Yadav, Mr. Rajat Jain and Mr. Prateek Bhallam Mr. Varun Deswal, Ms. Punya Rekha Angara, Mr. Sharian Mukherji and Mr. Mohammad Pasim, Advocate for the Petitioner;

Mr. S. V. Raju, learned ASG, Mr. Zoheb Hossain, Counsel for ED, Mr. Vivek Gurnani, Mr. Siddhartha Kaushik, Mr. Anshuman Singh, Mr. Gaurav Saini, Mr. Navneet Aggarwal, Advs. and Mr. Pawan Kumar, IO Advocates for the ED.

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